Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Saturday, 16 August 2008 14:02 UK

Spector retrial set for October

Phil Spector
Phil Spector has worked with some of the biggest names in music

A murder retrial for music producer Phil Spector can go ahead in October despite defence attempts to stop it, an appeals court in California has ruled.

The court rejected a call for a stay of the trial so the defence could appeal on the grounds of double jeopardy.

Also dismissed was an assurance that prosecutors would not ask jurors to convict Spector of lesser offences.

Mr Spector is charged with killing actress Lana Clarkson. The jury in the first trial failed to reach a verdict.

The trial collapsed at the end of September 2007 after 12 days of deliberation.

A decision on a second trial has taken until now due to the commitments of the last member of his legal team.

Christopher Plourd has been involved in two death penalty cases.

Most of Mr Spector's legal team resigned or were dispensed with after the mistrial was declared, with only Mr Plourd remaining in place.

The music producer, 68, denies murdering actress Lana Clarkson at his Los Angeles mansion.

The actress was found with a gunshot wound in her mouth after a night out. During the four-month trial, defence lawyers argued it was suicide.

Mr Spector, 68, was charged with second degree murder. It falls between first degree murder - which requires proof of pre-meditation - and manslaughter.

Forensic evidence

Ms Clarkson, 40, had been working as a hostess at the House of Blues venue in Los Angeles, where she met Mr Spector on the night of her death.

The actress accompanied the producer to his mansion in the early hours of the morning but was later found in his foyer.

Lana Clarkson
Lana Clarkson was said to have been depressed about her career

A holster matching the snub-nosed Colt Cobra revolver that killed Ms Clarkson was found in a drawer in the foyer.

Ms Clarkson had been working at the nightclub after struggling to find acting roles, and the trial had heard how she was despondent about her career in the months before her death.

One of the crucial questions was whether the forensic evidence proved Mr Spector was close enough to the victim to have been able to shoot her in the mouth.

Mr Spector's lawyer Linda Kenney-Baden told jurors the absence of gunshot residue and blood from his sleeves showed he had not fired the fatal shot.

The producer never took to the stand but told Esquire magazine in 2003 that Ms Clarkson had committed suicide and he had "no idea why".

Mr Spector has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business, including The Beatles, and is famous for pioneering the "Wall of Sound" recording technique in the 1960s.




PHIL SPECTOR MURDER TRIAL

Phil Spector Hung jury
Why the jury failed to reach a verdict in Phil Spector's murder trial

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